So I received the best compliment a guy like me could get a couple weeks ago from a real sweet girl that was nice enough to be my date for a Team Ironclad wedding/rave in Oregon (we're thinking about starting a professional plus one or two service, FYI, if you need a little catalyst at your next shambo, and yes, it was actually part rave). She said "Phil, I have trouble knowing if all your stories are completely false, but I'm starting to realize they're not".
FINALLY!!! Just a little bit of justification for the thousands of miles behind the wheel, two am arrivals, late nights, next day adventures, races lost due to late nights, and general Peter Pannery that I signed up for when I told myself I wouldn't just lay low in one small town. I've often questioned this seemingly ridiculous investment, to go through the desert on a horse with no name as the song goes. But in my travels I realized the friends I've made were way too legit to write off and post an annual happy birthday on their Facebook wall. Folks so legit in fact, that I consider my only real talent in life is the people I surround myself with. So, with a little inspiration from the Wolverine, I realized my home was a 500 mile range. This continues to be a very difficult but rewarding lifestyle. It was my choice to set up the bat cave way out in the Northwest corner of nowhere, so it's my obligation to put in the extra travel time and make the most of every encounter with my friends across the far reaches of the range.
One of the requirements of living such a demanding lifestyle is selecting gear (and wingmen/women) that can hang. This is often referred to as the Theory of the One Quiver Man. When I'm driving a thousand miles in one weekend just for one race, ride or wedding, there's simply no time or space for crap that can't hang. I lost my best wingman a few years ago when he decided he wanted to marry this fine lady, which he did two weekends ago in Roche Harbor (he obviously made the better decision, but I'm guilty of always taking the hard road in life):
So on the Wingman front I realized I was lucky if they made it through one big weekend. Here's what my boy Dale the Whale looked like after two days in the life in British Columbia (to his credit, being out til 3 am before doing the 7 hour, 7 summits ride on 4 hours of sleep was not easy, but the true ski bum Noah Young did it in loafers with a smile on his face the whole time!):
It's one thing to swap out Wingmen, but who's got the money to travel with junk that needs replacing every weekend? And who wants to anyway? Not this lone wolf!
Oakley shades are one item that I really think is a step above the competition, worthy of The One Quiver Man. I'm saying this under my own free will, I haven't seen a nickel from them believe it or not. Not only are they made in the USA (go USA, #1!), but they are more durable than the tank out front of their headquarters. Plus the optics will make you see like the Dark Knight. If you need to upgrade your sonar, head over to The Cycling House Store for some fresh Oakleys and other bomber goods for your next mission across your own 500 mile range.
So if that product plug wasn't blatantly obvious, I'll come clean and tell you that Owen and Shaun from The Cycling House are my boys, and you should check out their cool webstore anyway. They have have always believed in me as a mountain biker, which helps because it's a tough sport that can sometimes take everything and give you nothing back. Big thanks to the people and gear that keep this guy livin' like the Wolverine. To the wondering web surfer that's washed upon this shore as inexplicably as a bottle: I'll tell you the same thing I told my date after the wedding/rave.. I don't dabble in fiction, any story you hear from me is true!
See you all this cross season,